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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Drug charge appeal is adjourned
Nick Baker
Mr Baker was arrested after drugs were found in a bag he was carrying
A Gloucestershire man jailed in Japan on drugs charges started an appeal against his conviction on Thursday.

Nick Baker's appeal was originally due in May, but was postponed when an interpreter could not be found.

The 33-year-old, from Stroud, was jailed for 14 years, but maintains he was tricked into carrying drugs by a companion who fled.

The father-of-one was fined 25,600 at his trial last June. On Thursday, the case was adjourned until 20 July.

Mr Baker was arrested at Tokyo's Narita airport after more than 40,000 ecstasy tablets and 2lb of cocaine was found in a suitcase he was carrying.

Accurately translated

His lawyers began the appeal against his conviction at Tokyo's High Court in March.

A spokeswoman for Fair Trials Abroad, which is supporting Baker's appeal, said the defence argued there were "serious inconsistencies in the evidence".

She said Baker's Japanese lawyer had accused a customs official of altering important documents.

The lawyer also told the court that the Japanese language statement Baker affixed his thumbprint to was not accurately translated for him, the spokeswoman said.

Speaking from her Wiltshire home, Baker's mother Iris said: "At least there is going to be another hearing. That gives me a little bit of hope," she said.

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